HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 c356
15. Mr. Nicholas Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he has received any recent representations from the British Medical Association on self-governing hospitals.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

I was interested to see that the British Medical Association in Scotland is now responding more positively to the proposed self-governing hospitals or NHS trusts and has offered to help us with monitoring their success.

Mr. Bennett

Does my hon. Friend agree that that is a welcome change of heart on the part of the BMA, but is it not strange that the Labour party, which believes in devolution, does not believe in devolving powers down to the general hospitals from the health boards?

Mr. Forsyth

I think that my hon. Friend is being a little unfair. I think that the BMA is beginning to realise the opportunities that the White Paper offers for giving doctors more say in the management of hospitals and for expanding services to patients. The only consistency that my hon. Friend should look for among Labour Members is that of always being against what the Government do, whether or not it is in the interests of patients.